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Contraction: Contraction

" We are pleased to have been able to remaster and reissue this album to CD. Contraction's music, like that of several other groups from the 70s, is part of Québec's musical heritage , and we are proud to share it with you. " - Yves Laferriere and Christiane Robichaud of Contraction.

The duo quoted above formed the nucleus of Contraction. Both these musicians accompanied Franck Dervieux on his landmark recording "Dimension M" which appeared in 1971 and is possibly Québec's earliest prog recording. This eponymous album is a continuation of the music inspired by those earlier sessions and may in a sense be an homage to Mr Dervieux whose debilitating illness did not allow him to follow his musical passion.

The music contained on this album is a collection of ballads and instrumental numbers which draws equal inspiration from Québecois folk music, British progressive rock, and American "flower power". Québec has always been a "me too" nation so when folk inspired rock started sweeping the world, we got caught up in the whirlwind also. I don't think, however, that the youth of the day fully realized what it was they were creating. Alongside Ville Emard Blues Band (VEBB), which Contraction joined for the 1974 Live In Montreal concert and recording, Contraction was forging a sound for the ages. Their brief legacy ( this self titled disc and 1974's La Bourse Ou La Vie) may sound a little dated today, but it's dated in a good way. Their nostalgic sound harkens us back to simpler, more idealistic times. But , I digress… you people want to know about the music, not be given a history lesson about a nation that almost was. As stated earlier, this debut record is an equal mix of soft ballads and subtle instrumental numbers. The former are vehicles of Christiane Robichaud's celestial soprano voice. One listen to her clear, soaring pipes will have many of you asking :"Annie who?". She should be considered as one of progressive rock's best voices. She still keeps her singing chops well honed by teaching vocals to a new generation of Québecois youth. The instrumental numbers allow the musicians to showcase their ample chops. The 1-2 punch of Yves Laferriere (bass) and the underrated Robert Stanley (guitar)forms as formidable a duo as this province has ever produced. Stanley in particular shines as his blues-rock phrasings leap off the disc. The omnipresent drummer Denis Farmer (VEBB, Toubabou, Harmonium) fills out the sound admirably, alongside a plethora of guest musicians, which collaborate to create a wonderful album which sits loftily in the annals of all-time best Québecois progressive music ever committed to tape.

Once again I tip my hat to the folks at ProgresSon Music for breathing new life into the majestic album. This is a timeless classic which belongs in the collection of every serious prog fan out there. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:

  1. Chant Patriotique
  2. Le Chat Bruinne
  3. Délire
  4. Trois Ou Quatre
  5. Ste-Mélanie Blues
  6. 42 Nord
  7. Pixieland
  8. Spleen
  9. Fin Du Commencement

Added: June 12th 2005
Reviewer: Yves Dubé
Score:
Related Link: www.progquebec.com
Hits: 3788
Language: english

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